Monday, January 24, 2011

Naw, Kitty! That's MY Green Pen!

I can't NOT blog this.

I have serious doubts about the wisdom of sharing this on the internet.  I'm scared it's going to bite me in the ass.

I'm going to do it anyhow.

Okay, we (as in, my work family) have recently added a new member to our fold - for the 8th time in 3 years, in fact.  Our administrative assistant position has seen a LOT of turnover in the last few years.  There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is that the position doesn't pay well, is part time, and there are no benefits offered.  It is a small percentage of the population that can afford to work such a job, and even with a 10% unemployment rate in town, it's been hard to keep anyone's butt in that chair for more than 6 or so months at a time.  I'm frickin' sick of it, to be honest with you.  I've changed up my interviewing process a bit to try to narrow down my viable candidates, in an effort to find the right fit and maybe not have to do this again for another year or two.  I thought I'd hit pay dirt with the last girl, but she ended up with an offer she couldn't refuse from a company willing to pay for her education and I can't even begin to compete with that, so I recently found myself interviewing again.  Fuck.

But D reminds me of me.  In the interview, one of my first questions was "tell me about you". Her answer started with, "Well, I'm married...".  She said a lot of other things that were super relevant to the job, but that first part cracked me up - it was the first way I described myself for the 4 years it was true.  But I've not met a lot of other women who do that.  Maybe there are plenty of us out there, but I sensed a kindred soul.  It made me giggle.  She also described herself as "quirky", and I think I've told you about my history with this company and being quirky.  It was like it was meant to be.

She's been a hell of a great addition, too.  She's smart and eager and funny and polite and a quick learner.  So imagine my surprise today when I hear this story:

D wrote a note or some such thing on some document of some sort that ended up on the desk of a co-worker, we'll call her C.  D's note was written in green ink, from a pen that happens to be the same make, model, and color that C prefers.  C approaches D and says something along the lines of, "I don't mean to pull rank, but I use the green pens and you can't" and she takes the green pen away from D.  (!!!)  I don't know if D realized the pen was taken immediately or not, but a few minutes later she approaches C, saying "Can I have my green pen back" and C says "No!  I use the green pens around here" and D says "That's cool, but that's MY green pen; I brought it from home" and C's all "oh, my bad, here's your pen, just don't use it here".  (!!!)

Dude.  Do I even have to say anything?  I mean, really?  And C, if you read this and get mad, I'm sorry, but DUDE!!!  I've replaced this position 8 times in 3 years, and for the first time we've got a chick in that desk who is smart and eager and funny and polite and a quick learner AND she's wanting to get us organized AND she's got a husband who's her main line of support while she's in school so she can work this miserably-compensated position and you're going to fucking take her pen away from her?!  Are you fucking serious?

I was floored.  I just can't believe the conversation happened in the first place, much less the TAKING OF THE PEN.  I mean, what the fuck?!  Since when do we have assigned pen colors up in this bitch?  Since when is the work of the admin. assistant (who, by the way, has DRASTICALLY different handwriting from C) in danger of being mistaken for the work of the operations manager?  If that's a real fear, well, something more than ink color needs to be addressed around these parts.

I desperately wanted to be the one to tell the story to my boss, even though I heard it like seventh-hand.  I love talking about crazy shit with him.  This qualifies as crazy shit.  But Kim beat me to the punch - my fault for leaving "early" today, I guess.  I learned of my failure when the following email showed up on my Blackberry:

From: Boss
To: Natalie ; Kim 
Sent: Mon Jan 24 14:24:56 2011
Subject: Pen Policy

I find it necessary to bring to your attention the unwritten yet understood however unenforced up to this point pen policy. Be it known from this point forward that blue ink pens are off limits to all employees. I think that you are all fully aware that blue pens are my chosen color. It is necessary for everyone to be aware so there will not be any confusion if someone happens to use say black, that it is in no way associated with any of my work. Additionally, I do occasionally utilize a black fine point Sharpie®, but the penalty for use of this instrument will not be as swift in light of the infrequency of use.

If you are found to be in violation of the “No Blue Pen” policy, unfortunate but extreme disciplinary actions will be taken. Please do not put yourself or me in the uncomfortable position of having to have any further discussions on this pressing matter. Please remember that I am the one who controls your livelihood and happiness.

Your Boss and the top person in control in the location,

Boss's Name
Boss's Big Fancy Title

Needless to say, I cried real tears.

This is why I put up with 5:18 a.m. phone calls on Sunday mornings.  No one else has a boss this cool.

Oh, and I'm going to start using green pens exclusively.  Because I'm a passive-aggressive biotch like that; that's just how I roll.

(oh, and the title should be read in the voice of Cartman, from South Park, when he says "Naw Kitty, that's MY pot pie!!!"  If you don't get the joke, I'm sorry.)


  1. Ink policy is serious business, Nat. I thought you knew. I was the only teacher allowed to write on progress reports and graded papers in purple ink, LMAO! Yeah, your boss rocks.

  2. I laughed so hard I might have peed a little. Goodness.

  3. I laughed so hard that Jason asked 'wtf is wrong with you'. Sadly, I was able to visualize the conversation in my head. Boss is amazeballs. For reals

    PS I totally would have stayed if I hadn't got that wicked awesome retail 'promotion'. xoxo

  4. SARAH! Stop trying to take my job, you big mean meanie.


Please don't make me cry.


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